I have made this point explicitly three times in the last 24hrs in response to different stimuli. It’s something I have also stressed in my talks, articles and blogs in recent years.

In my view you should be wary of anyone who simply references ‘social media’ in the context of accountants (or indeed other senior professionals). If they do not distinguish LinkedIn as distinct from other social media then they are probably insufficiently familiar with LinkedIn and/or accountants to be offering you advice. And the basis for their opinions may be suspect too. There are, sadly, a number of marketing and so-called social media ‘experts’ attempting to persuade naive accountants that they need a ‘social media strategy’. In fact the only people who will see any material reward for this ‘social media strategy’ will be the external consultants.

I accept that some generic definitions of Social Media would include LinkedIn. But it’s very different to twitter and Facebook as I showed in an earlier blog post.  Yet facebook and twitter are the platforms most accountants and business people associate with the phrase ‘social media’. There are also other popular (and unpopular) social media platforms. But Linkedin is the only really business focused form of social media.

Do accountants use LinkedIn? Can they benefit from being actively engaged on LinkedIn? Or simply from being registered therein? Yes. Yes. Yes. Should accountants have a strategy to gain maximum benefit from Linkedin? Yes. It’s a unique online BUSINESS network platform.

Does this mean there is a need for accountants to  adopt a wider ‘social media strategy’? No. Is the common disdain for Facebook or the concerns about twitter relevant to accountants’ use of LinkedIn? No. Could accountants benefit from other forms of social media? Yes. But each medium requires a very different approach and attitude. And none are as business focused as LinkedIn. So there is no need to rush this.

Tell me. Do you agree that it’s better to consider Linkedin distinct from other ‘social media’ or do you think accountants can benefit from a single social media strategy? Please share your views below.